Training on country lanes

Country Lane
Living where I do, in a somewhat rural area, I’m doing a lot of my training on narrow country roads. This can be very pleasant, watching the landscape roll by, the wildlife getting on with its business, and just running along in peace and quiet, the silence broken only by the sound of my heavy breathing as I pant my way up a hill!

And there was of course the incident on last weekend’s long run where I had to ford the most enormous puddle where the previous night’s downpour was draining off the fields. Tip-toed my way through so my trainers are still relatively clean!

However, lots of drivers drive too fast round these lanes and are not looking out for runners, so for your safety I’ve created a little list of tips on how not to get run over!

  • Wear reflective and fluorescent clothing or straps, like a Sam Browne or a fluorescent jacket with reflective strips on it.
  • Stay alert to what is going on around you. Even if you normally listen to music while you run, this is a bad idea when you need to be listening out for cars! If it’s getting towards dusk or is particularly dark, keep an eye out for car headlights as these are good early warnings for getting out of the way.
  • Run on the outside of sharp bends, so that traffic can see you coming from both directions.
  • Run in the middle of the road if there’s no traffic but make sure you get out of the way if a car comes along! Country roads usually have a steep camber so it’s better for your ankles etc if you run on the flattest bit of the road. Q&A on running on a camber on Runner’s World website
  • Be careful if it’s been raining – as well as the aforementioned small lake across the road, there’ll be lots of water draining from the surrounding countryside, making the road slippery. If in doubt, slow down a bit!

If anyone had any more suggestions please leave them in the comments 🙂

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